Digital Platforms

Approved by:                  Northeastern State University Executive Cabinet
Responsible Official:        Communications & Marketing
                                      (918) 444-2880
History:                          Revised – August 16, 2016
Related Policies:           Graphic Standards                                         Acceptable Use           

Additional References:     FERPA
      74 O.S. §585
      Rehabilitation Act
      Assistive Technology Act of 1998
      Americans with Disabilities Act

POLICY

PURPOSE

Northeastern State University (NSU) provides Web systems and services to departments, colleges and authorized organizations to disseminate information, extend knowledge, foster the free exchange of ideas, market and brand the university, and reach and engage faculty, staff, students (current and prospective), parents, constituents, and other relevant individuals. Our central Web server (nsuok.edu) hosts websites on behalf of recognized departments, colleges and organizations. We empower website content managers to complete website builds within Dot Net Nuke, the University’s content management system (CMS). 

NSU’s website (www.nsuok.edu) and all microsites contained under that umbrella are electronic representations of the university and its most visible recruiting tool; they should reflect our purposes and standards with a consistent look, user-friendly navigation and factual information that work cohesively to present a positive and uniform image.

Social media and networking has given NSU the opportunity to engage in ongoing “conversations” with our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, colleagues, fans and friends about what is most important to them, extending the community found on the NSU campuses to the world.

Social media and networking refers to online tools and services that allow any internet user to create and publish content. Many of these sites use personal profiles where users post information about themselves. The “social” in social media and networking comes in as these individuals find others with similar interests and interact with them through online communities, sharing information and knowledge, offering support and networking. Social media and networking also allows for the easy sharing and re-purposing of existing content, expanding the reach of your work and enabling others to share it with their friends and networks. 

The social platforms NSU currently employs are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. More platforms available, but these are have the greatest reach for the demographics we serve. The following policies and guidelines govern usage of the internet and digital platforms at Northeastern State University. They are in place to enhance the users’ experience while protecting the users and university from adverse actions.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all Northeastern State University employees, students and other personnel granted access to the University’s network.

REGIONAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF OKLAHOMA POLICY

5.17 COMPUTER USE. Each university is directed to develop and implement a policy for appropriate use by students, faculty and staff of university computer facilities and services at their respective university. The policy should include, but is not limited to, the following provisions:

a) A statement that users of university computer facilities, services and information technologies may not violate local, State or federal laws or Board or University policy;
b) A statement that users may not use university computer facilities, services and information technologies for personal enterprises or business, (See 74 O.S. §585);
c) A statement that users do not have an expectation of privacy when using university computer facilities, services and information technologies;
d) A statement that the university cooperates fully with all duly constituted law enforcement agencies in cases of violation of applicable law;
e) A statement that use of university computer facilities, services and information technologies does not alter basic codes of behavior of academic life; and

f) A statement that users may not endanger the integrity of the university computer facilities, services and information technologies.”

GENERAL

Disclaimer

Users are cautioned that many Internet pages and social media applications include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. Users are further cautioned that it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the Internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to sites with highly offensive content. Additionally, having an e-mail address on the Internet may lead to receipt of unsolicited e-mail containing offensive content. Employees and users (herein referred to as “Users,” or “Students”) accessing the Internet do so at their own risk and understand and agree that Northeastern State University(herein referred to as "NSU," or “The University”) is not responsible for material viewed or downloaded by users from the Internet.

Use Policy

a) All websites, files and data within the domain of nsuok.edu are the exclusive property of Northeastern State University.
b) All departments, centers, institutes and other organization websites must be contained within the root directory, college or office. For example, the department of Accounting and Finance must be located under the College of Business and Technology’s umbrella website (academics.nsuok.edu/businesstechnology/AccountingAndFinance.aspx). 
c) All websites are organized into a logical structure to improve searching, usability and locating all content within an information hierarchy for ease of managing Web assets.
d) NSU makes no express warranties or representations as to the accuracy or reliability of information and assumes no liability or responsibility for content errors or omissions. 
e) NSU makes every attempt to ensure hyperlinks lead to substantial and appropriate content but assumes no responsibility or liability for external websites.
f) Hyperlinks on some Web pages may send a user’s browser to a website that is not owned, operated or maintained by NSU. NSU is not responsible for the content on those pages.
g) Use of nsuok.edu is at each user’s own risk. NSU assumes no liability for any direct or indirect actions, damages or legal issues arising out of access or use of website or Web content.
h) Images of people, places, graphics and logos on nsuok.edu are either the property of NSU or used with permission. Unless authorized by NSU, the use of these images by Web Managers or the downloading and use of these images by Web users who browse the Web are prohibited except in the course of normal business operations. Unauthorized use of the images may violate copyright and privacy laws and statues.
i) NSU will not tolerate content that is harmful or offensive to people. All content and images must comply with copyright laws, obscenity laws, defamation laws, harassment laws, accessibility laws, the Right to Privacy Act, NSU standards and policies, and any appropriate federal, state, or local laws regulating computer and telecommunications use. Corrective action will be pursued against users who do not utilize NSU web systems in accordance with the above-mentioned established policies. 
j) NSU reserves the right to inspect files in any NSU website and will provide information relevant to specific allegations or issues to an appropriate authority in accordance with our Acceptable Use Policy. 
k) NSU reserves the right to move or remove outdated data or material.
l) The use of university logos and specific colors and typefaces should consistently appear on all college and office websites to make nsuok.edu easily identifiable, as outlined in the Graphic Standards and Web Guidelines handbooks. 
m) Content will conform to Associated Press Style Guide and the University’s usage as outlined in the Graphic Standards policy.
n) NSU web servers are limited to university business and should not be used for personal monetary gain. Use of NSU Web servers for is strictly prohibited. Links to for-profit websites should be limited to organizations with whom NSU conducts business.
o) Advertising within the nsuok.edu domain is limited to entities who support the university’s educational and co-curricular activities through sponsorships or donations.  References to sponsorships or donations are bound by this Digital Platform policy in terms of content and presentation. Exceptions may be granted with approval from Communications and Marketing. 
p) Under construction messages or image signs should not be used.

q) NSU will not require an individual to transmit his/her social security number over the Internet unless the connection is secure or the social security number is encrypted.

This policy will be periodically reviewed and updated.

Personal and Faculty Web Pages
NSU does not allow personal Web pages on the nsuok.edu servers. Personal Web pages are defined as those developed by students, faculty and staff that are not exclusively related to NSU academics, co-curricular activities, or business functions.  Personal Web pages focus information about the site, pages or authors including their backgrounds, interests and/or opinions. 

There are many third-party options available to those needing personal websites. With the approval of the Dean, of the appropriate college, and Director of Communications and Marketing, a landing page may be deployed to facilitate academic necessity. This landing page will act as link page only and will not house or store any data, documents or images. General course information including description, prerequisites is available through the electronic Course Catalog, linked on the main landing page.  Information about course rotation or suggested course sequences may be added to a college's website. Coursework and related instructional materials (assignments, syllabi, and other handouts) will be accessed, stored and disseminated through Blackboard. 

NSU does not allow third party websites. Non-official NSU websites are defined as those hosted on servers physically located outside of Northeastern State University’s campus. Exceptions include goriverhawksgo.com (athletics), nsualumni.com (alumni) and nsugiving.com (alumni), contracted third-party vendors and secure websites accessed through single sign-on connections within Blackboard. 

Non-official NSU websites linked from nsuok.edu must carry the following disclaimer: “You are leaving the NSU website.  The views, opinions and conclusions expressed on subsequent pages are not necessarily those of Northeastern State University or its officers and governing board. The content of this page has not been reviewed or approved by Northeastern State University and the author or organization is solely responsible for its content.” 

All third party webs services, software platforms, mobile application or websites that are public facing shall make a good faith effort to conform to the university’s graphic standards and web guidelines.

WEBSITE CONTENT MANAGER

Digital Platforms, under the direction of the Director of Communications and Marketing, consults with designated Website Content Managers and their constituents on information architecture, accessibility, content and design. For larger, more complex projects, a more customized approach will be utilized that includes research, architecture, design, development, content editing and brand marketing consultation. To begin the Web page creation process, content managers complete an online questionnaire to help Digital Platforms staff plan for special needs and deadlines.

For each new and redesigned website built in DNN, Digital Platforms guides the Website Content Manager and client through a step-by-step process and provides initial CMS training classes. By the time they complete training, Website Content Managers should be able to build a website that they can maintain and update and that is consistent with the NSU brand. For more details, refer to the Branded Template Website Process Guide. 

Website Content Managers will be responsible for the following:
a) Ensuring that all design, content and graphics conform to university policies.
b) Organizing content (the information architecture).
c) Collecting and writing content.
d) Entering content into the DNN system.
e) Reviewing the website to ensure up-to-date content and compliance with university Web branding.
f) Acting in the role of liaison among the colleges, departments and the Digital Platforms and Web strategies group, ensure websites meet the necessary requirements; report new, major developments; and coordinate requests for new pages or sections.
g) Ensuring that students granted access or designated as a web content manager has account privileges revoked upon termination of employment or internship.

h) Completing other duties that ensure smooth departmental or organizational Web operations.

Website Content Managers are NSU employees and approved students bound by the NSU Web and Internet Policies and Guidelines. Computer and Microsoft Word expertise are required to fill this role. This is purely an organizational and operational role. 

Development, management and administration of Web content including pages and data are the responsibility of the corresponding college or office. Web content ownership and responsibility rests with deans, directors, vice presidents or the provost who are ultimately responsible for all departments, centers, institutes and other organizations in their portfolio. 

To provide a stable Web environment, NSU limits the use of scripts, databases, processes, utilities or applications. Applications other than the Web server and websites or other approved applications are not permitted to be uploaded and executed. Users violating this policy may lose their access privileges and risk loss of data. Colleges, organizations and offices that require a database application, as a companion to or integrated with a departmental or organizational website, should contact Digital Platforms for a consultation and request a database application project. These projects are subject to the approval of the Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing for Digital Platforms and Web Strategies.

Website Content Managers must follow the university Graphic Standards policy. 

Recognized student organizations may administer a single landing page under the root website www.nsuok.edu if approved by the director of Student Activities and Digital platforms if the organization is registered and in good standing with the Department of NSU Student Activities. This page should be used for identifying the mission of the organization, listing of officers and contact information. Student organizations are responsible for maintaining a non-NSU website (off the NSU server) for their primary Web presence.

Requests to disable, delete or deactivate websites must come via e-mail from the leadership of the appropriate unit. 

The Digital Platforms department grants Content Managers Administrative access upon successful completion of DNN training. 

Administrative access will be removed for a Website Content Manager:

a) if the manager ceases affiliation with his/her current department and/or NSU or
b) through periodic scanning and automated removal.  ITS removes access of student workers no longer enrolled or administrative users who have not logged into the system within one calendar year, or  

c) if the Website Content manager violates the University’s acceptable use policy or terms of agreement.

MEDIA

Web media disk storage requirements are significant because of large file sizes. ITS provides storage quotas for all colleges and offices which bear the responsibility to manage allotted space and plan for future use of this space each semester.

Server space should only be used to store files needed for website. 

NSU provides a standard disk space allotment of 250 MB for all colleges and offices hosting a DNN website. 

Because of the cost and maintenance required to maintain stored data, ITS will regularly monitor storage status to ensure all users have working and available storage disk space.  To optimize system performance, excessive or duplicate stored data could be expunged from the system. 

Live events that require streaming resources are sometimes unpredictable and require significant planning and preparation. Live streaming will be limited to as many users as the bandwidth can accommodate. Live events that require video production crews and other equipment must be scheduled 30 days in advance of the event. ITS and Digital Platforms will work with vendors or production companies in advance to ensure a high quality event. 

To provide services for Web-based media such as audio, video, media and some decision support systems (other than static or dynamic Web pages) significant resources are required. Charges and fees may apply for special services and additional maintenance on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind the following:

The approving administrator associated with a NSU cost center number must authorize all full time faculty and staff who use streaming and rich media services. 

All students (sponsored by Student Affairs) and vendors (sponsored by departments) who use streaming and rich media services must be first sponsored by a department head then evaluated and approved by ITS. Vendors must meet the minimal skill level requirements and work in accordance with technical guidelines. 

Live streaming of media (such as audio and video) may be subject to a production fee or production requirements. To create a quality-streaming event, a production crew or resources is essential to address the following issues: lighting, audio, image quality, continuity, location and other considerations. 

Network bandwidth, storage space, server performance, software and hardware configurations and other system enhancements have been added to NSU’s underlying Web infrastructure to provide adequate media services. Audio, video and multimedia streaming requests are subject to bandwidth and network limitations. A department or sponsor may request a network or bandwidth enhancement to accommodate a desired deliverable or streaming project. ITS will provide pricing and a work plan to make these adjustments.

DOMAINS

Domain, subdomain, portal name and print friendly URL’s are addressed in this section.

All NSU websites must reside in the nsuok.edu domain. Naming conventions provide organization, achieve consistency and optimize usability. Requests for websites from departments, groups and organizations within umbrella websites must be approved at the highest level of the College or office. 

To maintain the integrity of the NSU brand, NSU purchases and holds certain NSU-specific domain names, portal names and print-friendly URLs. Digital Platforms is not responsible nor manages domain names purchased outside of the Digital Platforms division.

The approved format for websites, services and pages is "nsuok.edu/portal name” for major colleges, departments and units only. All other websites must be contained under the college, unit or department umbrella websites. This format preserves and reinforces the NSU brand identity and is standard practice. It also encourages good content management, usability and accessibility practices. 

All sub-domain requests undergo an approval process that includes review by Digital Platforms. 

Print-friendly URLs may be granted for temporary events or functional use. If a website name is too long for marketing purposes or difficult to use for workflow or usability purposes on print materials, Digital Platforms will provide a print-friendly URL. The URL may be subject to removal after 365 days unless otherwise requested.

ACCESSIBILITY

NSU is committed to providing equal access to its websites and Web-based information to all users including persons with disabilities accessing the Web through disability software and hardware.

Each college, department and organization is responsible for coordinating and achieving compliance with this policy, including ensuring that vendor’s Web-based products also meet minimum accessibility standards. The Center for Teaching and Learning provides services for subtitles and other ADA compliance methods for teaching materials.

NSU endorses the State of Oklahoma’s IT Accessibility Standards, the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93-112 Sec. 504, 29 USC 794) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines as the standard for Web accessibility in compliance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (PL 105-394, 29 USC 3001), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (PL 101-336, 42 USC 1201). All University Web pages and vendor Web-based products, should at minimum, be in compliance with the State of Oklahoma’s IT Accessibility Standard.

SERVICE AND SUPPORT

A. Digital Platforms provides support for Web content and media during regular business hours. At the direction of the Vice President for University Relations, support services during nights, holidays and weekends, may be provided by Communications and Marketing. ITS optimizes the performance and reliability of Web and media systems and provision for backup and fail over when possible but does not guarantee system availability or ability to retrieve Web and media data.
B. NSU consistently attempts to provide reliable Web data storage and performs regularly scheduled backup of data on nsuok.edu, but cannot guarantee or ensure a backup of any NSU website or that backups will contain the most recent version of files or data.

PERMITTED USE

Employees
The computer network is the property of the University and is to be used for legitimate business purposes. Users are provided access to the computer network to assist them in the performance of their jobs. Additionally, certain users may also be provided with access to the internet through the computer network. All users have a responsibility to use the University’s computer resources and the Internet in a professional, lawful and ethical manner. Abuse of the computer network or internet use, may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and/or criminal liability.

Students
The computer network is the property of the University and is to be used for legitimate academic purposes. Users are provided access to the computer network to assist them in the performance of their academic and university social activities. All users have a responsibility to use the university’s computer resources and the Internet in a professional, lawful and ethical manner. Abuse of the computer network or the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and/or criminal liability.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

The university’s computer network may not be used to disseminate, view or store commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, destructive code (e.g., viruses, Trojan horse programs, etc.) or any other unauthorized materials. Occasional limited appropriate personal use of the computer is permitted if such use does not interfere with the user’s or any other employee's job performance; does not have an undue effect on the computer or NSU network's performance; or does not violate any other policies, provisions, guidelines or standards of this agreement or any other of The University. 

Further, at all times users are responsible for the professional, ethical and lawful use of the computer system. Personal use of the computer is a privilege that may be revoked at any time.

Illegal Copying
Users may not illegally copy material protected under copyright law or make that material available to others for copying. Users are responsible for complying with copyright law and applicable licenses that may apply to software, files, graphics, documents, messages, and other material users wish to download or copy. 

Communication of Proprietary Information 
Unless expressly authorized to do so, users are prohibited from sending, transmitting, or otherwise distributing proprietary information, data, trade secrets or other confidential information belonging to the University. Unauthorized dissemination of such material may result in severe disciplinary action as well as substantial civil and criminal penalties under state and federal laws.

ACCESSING THE INTERNET

Bypassing the University’s computer network security with proxy avoidance techniques or by any other means is strictly prohibited.

FRIVOLOUS USE

University Information Technology Services is authorized to limit access to those individuals or other entities who are deemed to be wasting computer resources or unfairly monopolizing resources to the exclusion of others.

VIRUS DETECTION


Files obtained from sources outside the University, including disks brought from home, files downloaded from the Internet, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other online services; files attached to e-mail, and files provided by customers or vendors, may contain dangerous computer viruses that may cause damage to  the University’s computer network. Network users should be ever vigilant when opening downloaded files or email attachments. If you suspect that a virus has been introduced into the University’s network, notify the Information Technology Services Help Desk immediately.

NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY

Employees and students are provided computers and Internet access to assist them in the performance of their jobs and academic pursuits. Users should have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, post, send or receive using the University’s computer equipment. The computer network is the property of the University and may be used only for NSU purposes.

Waiver of Privacy Rights
Users expressly waive any right of privacy in anything they create, store, post, send or receive using the University’s computer equipment or Internet access.

Monitoring of Computer and Internet Usage
The University has the right to monitor, log, and archive any and all aspects of its Computer system including, but not limited to, monitoring Internet sites visited by users, monitoring chat and newsgroups, monitoring file downloads, and all communications sent and received by users via Email, IM & Chat & Social Networking.

BLOCKING SITES WITH INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT

The University has the right to utilize hardware and software that makes it possible to report or identify and block access to Internet sites containing non-work-related content.

SOCIAL MEDIA


Social media are defined as “websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts”.

As an employee or student at the University, users are bound by this policy (Digital Platforms Policies and Guidelines) when using University resources to access social media. For the purposes of this policy, those resources include wired network and Wi-Fi access. When accessing any social media via those resources, there exists no expectation of privacy. 

It is the responsibility of any moderator of a University social media site to comply with all University policies.

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

FERPA: "The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education."

VIOLATIONS

Employees who may have violated this policy will be referred to Human Resources.
Students who may have violated this policy will be referred to Student Affairs.

Link to the pdf for the Digital Platforms policy